Thinking It Through – Ep. 68 – Justin Lee (@justindeanlee) – #Reading in the #MeToo Age Could Create More Virtuous Men

Justin Dean Lee Picture

Next on Thinking It Through: Today, I got to conversed with writer (and teacher), Justin Lee, about a piece that he wrote recently laying out an idea to create more virtuous men in the age of the #MeToo movement. His idea involves reading…and lots of it.

Justin Lee’s Twitter

Justin Lee’s Arc Digital Author Page

Justin Lee’s Website

In The Age Of #MeToo, Men Must Read More Literary Fiction by Justin Lee

Karen Swallow Prior’s On Reading Well

00:00 – 01:51 = Introduction / What is Justin Lee?

01:52 – 04:29 = The Choice to be a Writer and a Teacher

04:30 – 17:22 = Lee’s Arc Digital piece (You should read it!  The link is above.)

17:23 – 19:14 = Finding more of Lee’s work / Ending

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Please feel free to send me your questions, thoughts, and/or comments at: jadanner1@yahoo.com!

Thinking It Through – Ep. 67 – John Wood Jr. (@JohnRWoodJr) Interview – Depolarizing #Politics

Next on Thinking It Through: Today, I got to interview John R. Wood, Jr., who is the Director of Media Development at Better Angels and hosts Transcending Politics. We have a short and sweet conversation about his background, the goal behind Better Angels, and a Quillette piece that he wrote concerning Black contrarianism. Enjoy!

John R. Wood Jr.’s Twitter

John R. Wood Jr.’s Areo Magazine Author Page

John R. Wood Jr.’s Quillette Author Page

Transcending Politics with John Wood, Jr. (YouTube)

Better Angels

The Spectrum of Black Contrarianism by John R. Wood Jr.

00:00-02:39 = Introduction / What is Better Angels?

02:40 – 13:16 = The Importance of Depolarizing Politics

13:17 – 15:58 = Wood’s writing

15:59 – 19:51 = Wood on his latest piece about Black contrarianism

19:52 – 21:11  = Ending

Subscribe (and leave a review at either place): Stitcher | iTunes |Facebook |

Please feel free to send me your questions, thoughts, and/or comments at: jadanner1@yahoo.com!

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Jerome Danner (jadanner1@yahoo.com) is a member of Project 21, an initiative of The National Center for Public Policy Research. You can follow him on TwitterFacebook and his website.

Why I Think The “#Racist” Label Will Stick with #Trump (from January 23, 2018 – for The Daily Nerv)

Donald Trump By Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America (Donald Trump) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Here is a bold prediction for 2018: President Donald J. Trump will continue to be called a racist. Yes, the prediction is not all that surprising. It is not that dramatic of a projection given the current atmosphere of political discourse with Trump as the impetus of much of it. Nevertheless, after last week’s supposed “sh*thole” comment, the prediction looks less and less like a prophetic word and more and more like stinging truth. As any person with eyes and ears pinned to the latest news travelling from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue could tell you, the words “Trump is a racist!” no longer feels like some kind of partisan conjecture, but a belief many hold because of the President’s habitual (and oddly entertaining) way of putting his foot into his mouth.

As “entertaining” as Trump might be, he is not doing himself any favors. Though some of his more ardent supporters may believe that his presidency will be viewed and judged by his policies alone, the truth is his impetuous behavior could open the door for Democrats to win in a major way in the 2018 midterm elections. He should not want this scenario to play out because impeachment has been the calling card for many on the Left since his victory in November of 2016, and it will sure be on the rise if they regain power.

On the issue of whether he used a vulgar word, there is really no debate. It is about Trump appearing to have referred to other countries, where the people tend have skin color darker than his own, as places much less than respectable, appealing, or to his apparent liking. Of course, he (along with other Republicans) has denied that he ever made such a remark. But with a poll showing that many Americans consider Trump’s supposed comment racist, he is coming to the point where it may be too late to change many minds from accepting him as an actual racist person.

Posting denials on his beloved Twitter account will soon not be enough. Other politicians on the left and the right have begun to respond in their own ways. Sen. Cory Booker has given a dramatic moment in a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing about Trump’s statement, Rep. Mia Love has given a heartfelt statement on the matter, and the New York Times has given a “definitive list” on Trump’s apparent racism. Now, add these items to the reaction to Trump’s choice of words during the tragic events of Charlottesvillea few months ago, and you can begin to see how difficult it is becoming for him to turn the tide on this widespread conclusion that he is some kind of stalwart supporter of white supremacy.

There are some, including myself, that believe Trump is actually more ignorant or insensitive on racial matters, rather than a truly racist person. Recently, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s nephew, Isaac Newton Farris, Jr., stated a similar belief when he spoke about Trump to a CNN reporter that may have surprised some. Trump’s interaction with Farris came when Trump signed a proclamation to honor Dr. King. Plus, Sen. Rand Paul spoke of a time when Trump donated funds to a medical mission trip of Paul’s, where he was going to perform surgeries on Haitians. These should be examples to strike against ideas of Trump seeing other races as beneath his own color, but he still has plenty of work to do. He should learn to try things that may be completely out of character for him, but it may really be a boost to his presidency in a healthier direction.

As can be seen in a Twitter post on January 12th, Trump is right to have posted that there is “no trust”. He could be speaking to his lack of trust for the mainstream media or his fellow politicians, be they Democrat or Republican. But he should pay more attention to the fact that more people of his own country do not trust him. This alarming truth should cause him to question why that may be and what should be done to change this narrative about his person. Most of us would not allow a day to go by without having confronted an ugly falsehood about us being aired in public. He has been far too passive about meeting this possible falsehood about himself head on.

If he is not a racist and he wants to attack the allegations of racism, then he will have to do so in a grand fashion. He should know a little about this, since he has made some of his living as a reality television star. He will have to go big, or risk going home. As a matter of fact, if the Democrats make an impact in 2018, then they may try to help speed up the process. So, he will have to bigger a lot sooner than later.

Originally published on The Daily Nerv – January 23, 2018

Jerome Danner is a member of Project 21, an initiative of The National Center for Public Policy Research. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook for more of his thoughts and commentary. For more of Jerome’s writing, please check out his website.

Let‘s Not Jump to a Collusion Conclusion on Michael Flynn’s Guilty Plea Just Yet (from December 4, 2017 – for The Daily Nerv)

ffDIA Chief: Transparency Builds Public Trust by Claudette Roulo

Last Friday’s news of former Trump National Security Advisor Michael Flynn pleading guilty to lying to FBI agents about his apparent interaction with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak brought quite a dramatic end to the week. Along with the indictment of Paul Manafort, who was once Trump’s campaign manager, things seemed to be picking up in the Trump-Russia probe.

With this major break in the ongoing investigation of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, guess who was not shaken or worried about Flynn’s plea deal?

President Trump showed no signs of being nervous of Flynn cooperating with Mueller’s investigation and has said as much. He has asserted before that he believed the investigation to be a witchhunt and he still says that there was no collusion. Plus, he has added in a Twitter post that he actually does not believe Flynn to be guilty of anything but lying to the FBI and Pence, which was the very reason that Flynn was fired earlier this year and early from Trump’s team anyway.

Even after his former campaign manager, his former adviser, his own son, and son-in-law have spent time recently as breaking news stories, Trump is still quite confident is his own innocence. House Democrats may be trying to push a vote forward for his impeachment this week, but they will have to go forward without having any strong facts revealing the President colluded with Russia on their side.

There may be more that we are to learn in the coming weeks from Flynn or the Mueller inquiry overall, but we cannot predict the future, take creative licenses with stories, or make erroneous statements to imply something that is just not there in actual evidence. As the suspension of ABC News’ Brian Rossand his statement on Twitter show, error cannot be allowed to make its way through media as truth, therefore, it should never be taken lightly. It is quite possible that Ross made an honest mistake on live television. However, ABC cannot afford to be guilty of purposely peddling false information, especially with a Commander-in-Chief who is not afraid to call a news organization out on being “fake news.” Besides, anything that looks like evidence in support of actual wrongdoing by Trump himself better be properly vetted by everyone, which obviously means journalists and lawyers.

Even if Flynn’s guilty plea looks like Trump is being boxed into a corner, remember that looks can be quite deceiving, especially when there can be different interpretations (from those on the Left and on the Right) of the same news cycle. So, no matter how much those in “the Resistance” and others who consider themselves “Never Trumpers” desire to see Trump’s presidency come crashing down, collusion cannot be willed into reality if collusion had never been an actual reality.

If there is a truth to be told about any collusion involving Trump, then it will come, and yearning for it will not bring it a moment sooner. Sometimes, the old proverb — “where there is smoke, there is fire” — really is true. Nevertheless, one does not just accept that there is a fire due to the smoke they see, but in addition to the smell of the smoke that they inhale and eventually the fire that they literally see. It is a collection of evidence that causes one to accept that there really is a fire.

This analogy can work for the belief of any Trump-Russia collusion scenario as well. It cannot be knowledge of a few people, who are connected with Trump and with Russia, alone that makes an illegal collaboration between the two parties true. It must be an assortment of people, places, and things, exceptionally documented and analyzed without prejudice, that all point to what many are thinking and craving to be true.

But, in the end, a collusion conclusion may not be the actual finale to our current White House drama.

Originally published on The Daily Nerv – December 4, 2017

For more of Jerome’s writing, please check out his website. Then, follow him on Twitter and/or like his Facebook page. His Project 21 Black Leadership Network National Advisory Council member page is here. YouTube channel here.

Thinking It Through – Ep. 66 – Kat Murti (@KatMurti) Interview – Why Libertarianism?

Next on Thinking It Through: Finally, I get the chance to interview a sister about her libertarianism and what led her to it.  Kat Murti will be back to talk more about her feminism.

Kat Murti’s Website

Kat Murti’s Twitter

Kat Murti on Facebook

00:00 – 1:26 = Introduction

01:27 – 03:40 = Who is Kat Murti?

03:41 – 19:49 = Murti’s libertarianism

19:50 – 21:03  = Ending

Subscribe (and leave a review at either place): Stitcher | iTunes |Facebook |

Please feel free to send me your questions, thoughts, and/or comments at: jadanner1@yahoo.com!

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Jerome Danner (jadanner1@yahoo.com) is a member of Project 21, an initiative of The National Center for Public Policy Research. You can follow him on TwitterFacebook and his website.

What Makes America Great? Well….it depends!

America is Great!  Without a doubt!  However, it’s greatness (or lack thereof) is still subjective to each and every person that lives within its borders.  Please check out my thoughts!

Please feel free to send me your questions, thoughts, and/or comments at: jadanner1@yahoo.com!

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**Order you some Two Good Cocoa**

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Jerome Danner (jadanner1@yahoo.com) is a member of Project 21, an initiative of The National Center for Public Policy Research. You can follow him on TwitterFacebook and his website.

Thinking It Through – Ep. 65 – Curt Mills (@CurtMills of @TheNatlInterest) Interview

Next on Thinking It Through: I get to interview Curt Mills, Foreign Affairs reporter of The National Interest! We spoke about the sanctions on Iran, which Curt Mills reported back on August 6th, for The National InterestSanctions Reimposed: Trump Administration Continues Ferocious Tack On Iran.

Curt Mills’ Author Page (on The National Interest’s site)

Curt Mills’ Twitter Page

Subscribe (and leave a review at either place): Stitcher | iTunes | Facebook |

Please feel free to send me your questions, thoughts, and/or comments at: jadanner1@yahoo.com!

____________________________________________________________________________________________

**Order you some Two Good Cocoa**

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Jerome Danner (jadanner1@yahoo.com) is a member of Project 21, an initiative of The National Center for Public Policy Research. You can follow him on Twitter, Facebook and his website.

Thinking It Through – Ep. 64 – Noah Rothman (@NoahCRothman) Interview

Next on Thinking It Through: I have the pleasure of speaking with Commentary Magazine‘s very own Noah C. Rothman!  We spoke about the latest in politics, such as Trump’s government shutdown threat over funding for his border wall and the Mueller investigation, and his July 30th piece for CommentaryAmerica’s Entitlement Crisis Is a Global Security Crisis.  Enjoy!

Noah Rothman’s Author Page (on Commentary Magazine’s site)

Noah Rothman’s Twitter Page

Noah Rothman’s Facebook

Subscribe (and leave a review at either place):  Stitcher | iTunes | Facebook |

Please feel free to send me your questions, thoughts, and/or comments at: jadanner1@yahoo.com!______________________________________________________________________________________________

**Order you some Two Good Cocoa**

______________________________________________________________________________________________

Jerome Danner (jadanner1@yahoo.com) is a member of Project 21, an initiative of The National Center for Public Policy Research. You can follow him on TwitterFacebook and his website.

How Social Media Can Change Your Reality: The Case of Greg Schiano and the Tennessee Head Coaching Position (from December 1, 2017 – for The Daily Nerv)

Photo via Business Insider — http://www.businessinsider.com/greg-schiano-fired-bucs-2013-12

Social media is a strange beast. It provides many of its fans with information faster than any form of media that has ever existed, and all at their fingertips too. Today, media is not just in some select group of people’s hands in a distant studio somewhere. Now, those without any specific credentials in media production can be progenitors of it (including this writer).

As exciting as social media has become, it has also brought something of a shallowness to many of its users. People can take snippets of this and memes of that to create an image of something else altogether, which may be accepted as being true or matching reality by others. Attaining, researching, and sharing credible evidence would apparently take too long. Therefore, information can be shared many times or go viral and not have a shred of truth to what is being revealed or expressed. The virality of something does not have to equal the veracity of it.

CNN’s Fareed Zakaria, while speaking to students and faculty at Northwestern University in Qatar (NU-Q), gave a thoughtful statement on the growing use of social media as the main origin for people to assess news: “The challenge we all face is that it is easier to acquire superficial bits of information, and yet what makes you succeed in life is depth of knowledge. We have created this mechanism of entertainment that allows you to very quickly graze and think that you know a lot, and actually that’s a very shallow understanding of what you actually need to know.” This challenge is quite difficult (at the moment) to overcome as many social media users continue to enjoy the ease of acquiring information quickly and without the pressing thought of making sure its factual.

Nevertheless, what is also forgotten by many is that information that has bits of falsehood mixed in with some truths can negatively effect people’s judgement and cause negative repercussions to someone else. This was the odd case of Greg Schiano and his disrupted deal with Tennessee.

This past Sunday afternoon, news had been released of a deal that was pending for Greg Schiano to become the head coach of the University of Tennessee. Apparently, the deal was moving steadily along and it looked to be close to finalizing everything.

Well, unfortunately for Schiano, Tennessee fans got wind of the news and decided to express their dissent in a rather dramatic fashion. He may have had the job initially, but things quickly change when news spreads like wildfire on social media. When the word spread about Schiano being the University of Tennessee’s next head coach, an impactful protest began to take place outside of the school’s Anderson Student Center and Neyland Stadium and on Twitter.

Some folks believed that Schiano’s Penn State past and connection to Jerry Sandusky came back to haunt him. Although an allegation was made about Schiano seeing Sandusky abusing a boy, he has denied it and, as is pointed out in one article, he was never charged with any crime or sued. Plus, he had been vetted by Tennessee officials, but apparently that did not stop one young man who actually spray painted a rock on the university’s campus.

Regardless of what is true or not about Greg Schiano and his time at Penn State, at least partially because of his time there and his involvement (or lack thereof) in the Jerry Sandusky scandal, his history followed him and Tennessee Vols fans brought it up as reason that he should not be the next head coach for the school. He had already signed a memorandum of understanding for the job, but things soured so quickly and aggressively, there was one way to proceed, and that was to part ways before it got worse.

This is how social media can work against you in under 24 hours: one’s reality may start out bright and end up being something altogether different that is not in your favor.

Originally published on The Daily Nerv – December 1, 2017

For more of Jerome’s writing, please check out his website. Then, follow him on Twitter and/or like his Facebook page. His Project 21 Black Leadership Network National Advisory Council member page is here. YouTube channel here.

Don’t Talk Politics for Thanksgiving. It’s that Simple. (from November 28, 2017 – for The Daily Nerv)

(Photo via SEMI-PARTISAN POLITICS)

As most of us know, talking politics can cause a rift in relationships when individuals participating in the discussion hold opposing views about any number of topics. People can forget the term, ‘civility,’ a moment after hearing a word, phrase, or idea that seems to trigger something in them to respond in a way that will more than likely incense the person that made the initial provoking statement. Then, it is a downhill conversation from there, where respectful and thoughtful engagement is no longer thought to be an option in the discourse.

This kind of exchange should never have a seat at any table on any day, but it especially should not be permitted on Thanksgiving Day. Everyone should remember to use their free speech in a more tasteful manner to really move any discussion forward and just maybe arrive at some common ground.

Recently, Salon released a piece that desired to show its readers how they could endure being in the presence of “diehard Trump supporters” for Thanksgiving by practicing “radical empathy”. Although I thought the piece was good and helpful, I could not help but to poke a little fun at Salon for posting something that is not as difficult as it would seem.

https://twitter.com/DannerJerome/status/932195509300793344?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fthedailynerv.com%2Fmedia%2F638a3c759dde98c6157f56c7e3951195%3FpostId%3Df9342c660e3d

Practicing empathy is great, but handling discussions with family/friends that disagree with you about Trump (regardless of how you and they may feel) is actually simpler and easier than even having to practice empathy. It is as easy as remembering that the people that you are breaking bread with on Thanksgiving are the sames ones that have loved you, supported you, and embraced you before November 8, 2016. They were there before Donald Trump became the Commander-in-Chief and one would hope that they have been there since his inauguration.

It should not take anyone to learn some form of a radicalized empathy, as beneficial to the psyche as it sounds. Everyone should just use your memories for reasons why you fellowship and love the people that voted differently than you.

Do not let anyone, especially a politician, make you believe that one group in your family is truly deplorable or that another group is just a bunch of winy social justice warriors. Let this holiday be free of stubbornly holding on to Republican or Democrat ideals. As conservative sage Dana Loesch pointed out: “Party isn’t thicker than blood. Ignore the politicians who tell you to politicize your Thanksgiving dinner and instead just enjoy being with your family — all of em.”

So, when you pull up to the house of a “die-hard whatever,” take a deep breath, remember the love that you share, break bread, enjoy the moment, and leave the politics at the door.

Is this not so much simpler?

Originally published on The Daily Nerv – November 28, 2017

Jerome Danner is a member of Project 21, an initiative of The National Center for Public Policy Research. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook for more of his thoughts and commentary. For more of Jerome’s writing, please check out his website. Jerome accepts email at jadanner1@yahoo.com.

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